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DHS now using loopholes to allow more skilled immigration, no legislation required (Alejandro Mayorkas, USCIS)

The Department of Homeland Security's USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) announced yesterday that they're going to be allowing more skilled immigration, even as millions of Americans - including tech workers - are unemployed. Rather than putting it to a vote by trying to pass a bill, they're going to be using loopholes in the current laws.

From this:

Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced a policy shift Tuesday that will help more immigrant entrepreneurs qualify for permanent residency.

...No laws are being changed. Instead, Mayorkas' agency is highlighting possible loopholes and waivers that will ease bids for green cards for foreign entrepreneurs - especially those who want to set up shop in high-tech industries.

...Agency staff who examine applications for permanent residency are being trained to know how visa rules apply differently to owners of startup businesses.

Business-minded applicants who show that their work is in America's best interest will have their visa applications fast-tracked.

Previous requirements - such as a job offer from an existing company and a certification from the Department of Labor - will no longer be necessary.

The rules can also now be stretched so that techies who are the sole owner and only employee of their companies can essentially petition for a visa by themselves.

This doesn't affect existing caps for certain countries. Apparently Mayorkas couldn't find a workaround for that.

Wed, 08/03/2011 - 14:30 · Importance: 4